‘Lion King’ sidewalk ads in Halifax draw uproar from city, pedestrians

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WATCH: Haligonians might have seen ads for the new Lion King movie in hotspots on city sidewalks, but as Jesse Thomas explains, the ads actually break city bylaws – Jul 19, 2019

There’s been a lot of talk about the release of Disney Motion Pictures’ remake of The Lion King.

But in Halifax, painted promotions popping up on sidewalks and bike paths are causing quite the uproar with pedestrians, while the city is calling it graffiti and asking people to report it.

“This would definitely be considered graffiti or in the graffiti category,” said Bryn Langille, a spokesperson with the Halifax Regional Municipality. “The municipality definitely doesn’t give permission for people to do this. Our bylaw S-300 respecting streets and sidewalks actually prevents this very thing from happening.”

READ MORE: ‘The Lion King’ review — Live-action version delivers exactly what you’d expect

It’s not clear who is behind the act of tagging and promoting the movie.

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Some say they don’t mind the promotions.

“I think it’s great. It’s a classic movie making a comeback and I think a lot of people are really excited for it,” said Ryan Gillis. “I don’t think a little bit of stencil on one small section of the city is really that big of a burden.”

Others weren’t impressed by the sidewalk advertisements at all.

WATCH: Is The Lion King worth seeing?

Click to play video: 'Is The Lion King worth seeing?' Is The Lion King worth seeing?
Is The Lion King worth seeing? – Jul 19, 2019

“I don’t really like it. I think they should ask before they put advertisements all across the city,” said Victor Buckwold. “It’s not art, it’s not a gift to us. It’s their advertisement and I’m not sure it was the right move by them.”

Global News reached out to Walt Disney Studios to ask about the street ads but didn’t immediately hear back.

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As for the city, they say it’s hard to try and pinpoint who is behind the graffiti.

READ MORE: ‘The Lion King’ — The first reactions to the live-action version are here

“It is very difficult to try and track who is responsible for this, especially given the fact that it’s a film that’s being promoted widely across the municipality, across the country, and across the world even,” said Langille.

The city has power washed some of the advertisements and asks anyone who comes across the sidewalk stencils to report it to 311.

This is not the first time Halifax has removed sidewalk advertising downtown. In 2016, an optical business was told to remove chalk drawings from in front of its store.

Similar street graffiti promoting The Lion King was also reported in Ottawa this week.

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